I humbly propose the Exchange-Based Career Advancement
Protocol (EBCAP) as a way in which both the Pentagon and corporate
America can benefit from such exchanges.
Under EBCAP, all employees receive a certain number of EBCAP dollars
each month based on their current salary. They can then use these
funds to buy stock in corporate projects they feel confident will
Employees then manage their portfolios; buying and selling shares
based on their own evaluations. Like the regular stock market, and
employee's trading history is private, but an audit trail is maintained
to prevent abuse.
Likewise, before a corporate project can begin and be allocated
resources, it goes through an electronic subscription process where
employees have the opportunity to buy shares at a fixed pre-IPO
price. If enough people subscribe, the project IPOs, and regular
trading -- and the project itself -- begins.
The advantages of EBCAP are compelling and four-fold.
First, EBCAP provides immediate and continuous feedback to management
as to whether they are making the right decisions. For example,
if a proposed project is seriously under-subscribed
during its pre-IPO phase, the project does not have the level of
The movement of a project's stock after assigning a new project
manager clearly indicates whether the right decision has been made,
and a company-wide market crash when a new CFO is appointed would
be an ominous sign indeed.
Second, EBCAP provides an unbiased metric to determine the most
effective employees. Rather than relying on quarterly or annual
performance reviews, management can examine the price history of
the projects to which employees have been assigned. If stock prices
tend to increase after assignment, the employee is obviously very
Third, the return on investment of EBCAP portfolios helps identify
those with leadership aptitude. The individuals with the highest
returns are those who can best evaluate the value of a project and
invest their funds accordingly. Of course, there is more to leadership
than just knowing which way the winds blow. Someone who has amassed
an EBCAP fortune, but has seen the value of most of his own projects
decrease, is probably a master of corporate politics, but would
be a poor candidate for advancement.
Fourth, EBCAP encourages deeper employee involvement and participation.
To improve their portfolio return, people are motivated to learn
about the company and are more likely to start seeing the big picture.
Some critics of EBCAP claim that employees should be doing their
work and not worrying about their portfolios, but such comments
are shortsighted. It is neither possible nor desirable for a normal
human being to "just do his job" and have no other concerns.
A lunchtime walk through any company cafeteria will confirm this.
Far from being a waste of time, EBCAP results in productivity and
morale gains as the traditional ill-informed office gossip and politicking
are replaced by constructive
discussion about which company projects are likely to succeed and